Continuing in our theme of looking at some of the foods that we wellness disciples are meant to avoid, we have devoted Episode 13 to an exploration of sugar, which is the one substance that every food tribe from paleo to vegans can agree on as The Evil One. The problems with white sugar are many and range from obvious to surprising (and alarming). Depending on what you read, sugar is meant to be responsible to everything from weight gain to acne (the obvious) to wrinkles, mood swings, depression, immune problems and, in some reports, even cancer. Oh and it's addictive.
There are a number of programmes out there dedicated to helping you quit your addiction to the sweet stuff, the most famous of which is Sarah Wilson's I Quit Sugar. And the internet is full of recipes for cakes, scones, pancakes and more made with "clean" ingredients - just check Pinterest. And look, we've tried them and while some are delicious (raw key lime pie seems to work), others can't exactly replace your grandmother's red velvet. But the real question is: need they?
In Episode 13, we spoke to a woman well-trained in ways of sweet: pastry chef of Chez Panisse fame, baker, podcaster and East London foodie Claire Ptak. Originally from California, Claire started selling her beautiful baked goods on Broadway Market before opening Violet Bakery, her beautiful cafe on Wilton Way in Hackney that has quickly become an East London landmark.
Tune in for some insights into how some of us seem to be able to enjoy sugar in moderation with no issues (French girls, we're looking at you), how to train your palate to taste flavours other than just sweet (so you can know how much sugar to use), and when sugar really does make you sick. Links below to Violet Bakery, Claire's excellent cookbook and her own podcast, The Violet Sessions.